The Straits Times: Pieces of rail track on sale from today

For those looking for KTM railway momentoes, do pop by the Tanjong Pagar Railway station to stake your claim. The Straits Times reports.

Pieces of rail track on sale from today

SOUVENIR stands set up by KTM have been doing brisk business at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

Those angling for mementos have a choice of the run-of-the-mill coffee mugs, keychains and T-shirts.

One can even get a real piece of the place. Old pieces of the silver-chromed track will be sold at the station from today for $200 each.

Another piece of the station looking for an owner is the life-size replica of a Malacca kampung house now sitting in the concourse.

The Tourism Malaysia Promotion Board is giving it away. The catch? The one who takes it has to pay for its dismantling, transporting and re-assembly.

Neither of the two businessmen who have expressed interest has staked a claim on the house, which was built at a cost of $30,000 for a travel fair in Singapore in 2009.

Said Tourism Malaysia Promotion Board marketing executive Mohd Nadzri: ‘It would be a waste if we left it here. We don’t have space to store it, so we are giving it away.’

Members of the public have until the end of today to take it.

Meanwhile, just like in recent days, hundreds of visitors thronged the 79-year-old station yesterday to take pictures or buy those souvenirs.

Madam J. Rajoo, 83, is arguably the most dogged souvenir hunter, having spent about $600 in the last two days on items such as photobooks for relatives.

‘This is a familiar place and I’m definitely sad that it will be closed. I made many friends here,’ said the retiree, who has fond memories of travelling to Malaysia on the KTM train to visit relatives in the early 1990s.

Restaurant manager B.T. Tan, 60, was happy to buy just four keychains. He said: ‘I’m buying these for my children. They’ve never taken the train before.’

KTM’s head of merchandise Nor Asyiqin Mohd Yusof, 38, said two additional souvenir stands were set up at the station yesterday to cope with the demand; only one had been open since June 22.

By 6pm yesterday, items such as magnetic bookmarks, folders and keychains were sold out.

Photographers and people queueing for tickets on the last train services have also turned up in droves at the railway station in the last week.

Magazine editor Deepa Balji, 35, was there with her husband to show their two-year-old son the place.

She said: ‘We want him to know there are old-fashioned things here in Singapore. This is where time has stood still. We don’t want him to grow up thinking that everything here is shiny and modern.’

Bright Hill Nursing Home manager Steven Lim was there to show the place to a resident of the home in her 70s. He said: ‘She told us she was here often in the past to take trains to Malaysia, and we wanted to show her the place one last time.’

Police, who say they have received reports of people going onto the railway tracks lately, have warned the public not to do so as the trains are still running. ‘The public is reminded to keep away from the tracks at all times for their own safety.’

Image taken from The Green Corridor

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